Overview – Three months worth of intense preparation for the Tour: physically, mentally, and nutritionally, for “The Big Push.”
I trained at HealthSpan with owner, Robert Davenport. My routine consisted of weight-training four days a week. My weight-training schedule was two days on and one day off for approximately two hours a day. I was training once again as a world champion athlete. Of course I work out and stay in shape as a regular part of my life but this was taking it up a notch. I spend a lot of time on the road as a motivational coach, inspirational speaker, school speaker, sports speaker and safety speaker. Some of the hotels I stay in have work out equipment and some don’t. Often those that have a gym don’t have equipment designed for a wheelchair athlete. Still, as a Paralympian and motivational coach I know how to improvise so I always make do. After all, there’s always a way and I never give up when it comes to fitness and my health. For the tour I wanted to gain as much muscle mass as possible since all of the miles on the road would lean me up and be a tremendous strain on me physically. This extra muscle mass would also serve as protection for my body. Making sure I put my miles in on the road was another part of my training. I logged approximately twenty to thirty miles per day for two to three hours a day. I hadn’t worked this hard since my days training for the Paralympics.
I used the same methods to inspire myself and keep going that I teach as a motivational coach and inspirational speaker. Just keep moving forward because there’s always a way. Think like that and you’ll always be a winner. While doing my weight training and roadwork I used nutritional guidelines I had received from consulting with nutritionist, Keith Kline before the Tour. Prior to departure I also consulted with a registered dietician and nutritionist who deals with nutrition for Iron Man triathlon athletes regarding intake for the Tour. She prepared a nutritional guideline for me to use as I pushed an average of fifty miles a day. All this preparation gave me the necessary physical, mental and nutritional base to undertake such a monumental task. Still, I’d need all my inspirational faith and the discipline I learned as a champion wheelchair athlete to carry me through. In my journey I hoped to gain a new, first-hand perspective on America’s health crisis. This journey would be the basis for my new book “Revolutions” and I hoped the tour and then the follow up book would really make an impact. It is my goal to get each individual American thinking about fitness. If each of us could just make getting fit even a small part of our day it would grow into a mighty wave and change everything. With each turning of my wheels I felt closer to both my goals, crossing America as a wheelchair athlete and bringing all Americans closer to good health. As a Paralympic wheelchair athlete and former member of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness I’ve seen the miraculous changes getting in shape and living healthy can make in a person. I truly want to motivate everyone to embrace a lifetime positive attitude and to never give up in their journey towards good health.